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If you are anything like me, you rarely go more than half an hour without at least glancing at your email inbox. During the work day I am constantly checking my email to see if I have missed anything or if anything important has come through, and when I am not working, I still am tempted to pick up my phone and see if there are any online deals I need to check out or get an idea of what the next day or work week will look like. While the simple solution would be to simply turn off notifications when I am not working or close my inbox so I am less distracted, there is another solution: receive fewer emails. If I am honest, a good majority of my emails are either spam or promotional outside of my work inbox, and scrolling through them is little more than a waste of time. Clearly you cannot ignore your work emails or ask clients or colleagues to stop emailing you, but you can keep your inbox clear of spam and filter the promotional messages you see.

Spam specifically applies to bulk messages that you receive from anyone to whom you did not explicitly give your information. This is different from email messages that you simply do not want to receive but gave a company permission to send. While most if not all email providers have built-in spam filters that will automatically sort your incoming messages and send them to a folder for spam if the content seems suspicious, a message that is spam, a scam, or a phishing scheme occasionally make it through to your primary inbox. You can help keep your inbox clear by marking spam as spam before you delete the email. This helps your filter learn what to keep out of your inbox.

When it comes to promotional emails that flood your inbox, you can keep your work inbox clear by using a separate inbox to receive promotional emails from stores, companies, apps, and more. You can also occasionally go through and evaluate who you want and need to continue receiving promotional messages and newsletters from and unsubscribe from accounts you do not need. These steps can help increase your productivity and keep your inbox clean and clear.